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Riding the momentum of a 49-6 conquest of Lancaster, the York Comprehensive High School football team travels to upstart Nation Ford Friday night.
The Region 3-AAAA clash is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at the Nation Ford High School football stadium.
Despite a 43-14 loss to South Pointe, the state's No. 3 team ranked team in 4A classification, Nation Ford is 5-2 for the season and 2-1 in the region.
The Falcons made things interesting early against the defending state AAA champions.
A.K. McCoy's nifty kickoff return put Nation Ford in business at midfield. This set the stage for quarterback Dalton Helms' 45-yard scoring toss to teammate Dijuan Ussery and the Falcons were in business.
Brandon Cureton's timely interception in the end zone halted a South Pointe scoring threat.
But the Stallions gathered steam with a dominant rushing game and key interceptions by the defense to pull away.
Nation Ford moved the ball on the ground and through the air, with Helms completing two TD tosses and rushing for 83 yards. Daniel Jackson rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries.
YCHS head coach Bobby Carroll is keenly aware of Nation Ford's offensive prowess.
“Their quarterback (Dalton Helms) had a little bit of an off night, but they moved the ball against South Pointe,” noted Carroll. “The Nation Ford quarterback throws the deep ball well and they have speed.”
Carroll saw Nation Ford play an early-season game against Boiling Springs.
“They moved the ball well that night, especially with the deep pass,” he said.
The YCHS coach labels the Falcons a program on the rise since they split the attendance with two high schools in Fort Mill.
“Coach Allen (Mike) does an outstanding job,” said Carroll. “Our defense will have to play better than last week.
“They will have to step up and defend the pass.”
York quarterback Spencer Carroll was razor sharp early against Lancaster as the Cougars built a 14-0 lead.
The senior signal-caller completed 7 of 8 passes for 79 yards, including touchdown tosses to Tay Neely and Lamin Yansanah covering 23 and seven yards.
Lancaster responded in impressive fashion behind dual threat quarterback Kaderrious Jackson, whose 47-yard scramble set up a five-yard TD toss to teammate Tywon Anthony as the Bruins celebrated on the sidelines.
But the Lancaster offensive surge was short-lived as the Cougars vaunted defensive unit settled in and the offense continued to roll.
“Our defense responded after giving up its first touchdown since the third quarter of the Gaffney game,” observed coach Carroll.
The Cougar head coach agrees with his son, the quarterback, that the Cougar offense has been productive since the second half of the Gaffney game.
“Our offensive line is playing better,” he noted.
Carroll said maintaining the desired level of intensity every quarter and every game is a tall order.
“Our kids practice hard and play hard,” he said. “We want to thank our fans for their support in our homecoming game,” he added. “It means a lot to the kids.”
With a tough four-game stretch coming up, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bosken said progress is being made.
“We have weapons on offense, multiple running backs and 5 to 6 receivers,” he pointed out. “The kids are not selfish. They want their teammates to do well.”
Junior running back Ryan Moore, who had 130-plus yards rushing and scored three touchdowns, said a balanced offense is the key.
“The run opens the pass and the pass opens the run,” he said.
Moore, whose shoestring tackle nailed a Lancaster kickoff returner on the Bruin 8-yard-line, understands what it takes to be successful on the gridiron.
Defense and special teams play wins games,” he said.
Defensive lineman Tay Reid, who ended up in the Lancaster backfield more than once, said defensive pride is evident.
“We work hard and study our opponent,” assured Reid. “We have to be ready to play every game.”
Other scoring for the Cougars included Moore's 73-yard touchdown scamper. He also had TD runs of seven and three yards.
Lee Wright's 90-yard punt return electrified the huge York crowd.
Quarterback Carroll's third TD pass was a 12-yard aerial to Markel Castle.